It is fair to say yesterday’s #WorldHealthDay was like no other. The Coronavirus has led us all to care for our health more than ever before, taking every precaution when it comes to our wellbeing. While the pandemic has led to global uncertainty, it has paved the way for digital innovation and there are plenty of ways you can adapt in order to instil a day-to-day routine. From online Joe Wicks HIIT workouts, to learning new dance routines for the latest TikTok craze, we have the option to fill our housebound days with a form of unusual, but enjoyable physical activity. While the team at PHYSIOLAB are the first to stress the importance of maintaining good physical health, it is important to remember that there are many dimensions to ‘wellness’ and achieving the right balance is important. On that note, we’ve come up with ways for you to stay emotionally well, intellectually stimulated and socially connected too!
Starting with the obvious, ensuring you are doing some form of exercise during lockdown will help you to keep your weight in check, keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control and improve your mental health through the production of endorphins. There are many ways you can do this, from using your 1 hour of exercise to run, walk or cycle, to creating a makeshift gym in your garden – the possibilities are endless!
Explore how you can become more engaged with exercising, too. Take the NHS’ ‘Couch To 5k’ app for example: the perfect way to get active and commit to running every other day (even if you are not a frequent runner). Likewise, for the more experienced running and cycling enthusiasts, create yourself an account on Strava and track your activity, connecting with people who share your passion in the process. It is the perfect time to get fit if you are mobile and able to push yourself!
On the other hand, if you aren’t particularly mobile and struggle with intense exercise, why not focus on improving your strength and balance during this time? The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) have designed six simple exercises for older adults to stay active at home. Furthermore, for those who are utilising this time at home to address any persistent injuries or conditions, you should begin by finding out what rehab exercises you could be doing to steadily progress through your recovery. Cryotherapy is something you may want to seriously consider if looking to recover from an acute injury, as it will give you the ability to manage pain and swelling from the comfort of your own home. We may be biased, but PHYSIOLAB’s at-home toolkits would fit the bill perfectly here – they are user-friendly and target key orthopaedic areas, such as the knee, hip, ankle and shoulder.
Take care of your emotional wellness to ensure you are as mentally well as you are physically. Three things you ought to consider are self-care, relaxing and stress reduction. When it comes to self-care, consider how you could go that extra mile. Whether that would be reading your favourite book in a hot bubble bath, or taking the time to cook fresh and work on your nutrition, there are many ways to give yourself some additional TLC. You should always plan your day so that you can designate time to relaxing and switching off from the world around you. Only you know how you do it best, but don’t be afraid to go for a few hours without checking your phone or disconnect from your work emails in the evenings. Try not to become too overwhelmed with work or to obsess over the endless stream of Covid-19 news – you may end up unwell. Maintain perspective and regularly take time-out to focus on you. MIND have pieced together a quick video with tips on how to relax – it’s worth a watch if you are struggling for ideas!
Without a doubt, lockdown has placed strain on our relationships with friends and family who live separately. While this can be difficult, remember that everyone is in the same boat and social distancing is temporary. So hang in there – your safety in the short-term is the priority. Ensure you stay socially connected by having daily conversations with people both inside and outside your household. You can still have video calls with loved ones in order to stay in touch.
If you live with family, this could be an excellent opportunity to brush the dust off your favourite board games and enjoy some family time reconnecting. If you don’t, there are lots of digital apps and games you can play with friends and family at a distance. This could also be the perfect opportunity to plan what you will do with friends and family when this is all over. Planning to sign up for that marathon? Hoping to book a holiday in the sun? Looking forward to a family re-union on the coast? Use this time productively to make sure you have something to look forward to.
While you may not be in a position to achieve what you originally set out to over the next few months, there are still an abundance of new things to learn during this lockdown period. From podcasts to tutorials, online courses to TED talks, there’s plenty of content that will enable you to broaden your horizons. Depending on what motivates you, it could be a good time to channel some of your intellectual energy into things you’ve wanted to do for a while. Whether that’s beginning a diary, creating a blog or updating your CV, it’s a great time to be proactive. Don’t be afraid to try something new – you may find a new passion or hobby that you would have never considered before!
Spiritual wellness is often overlooked, but it is definitely something worth exploring. Often misinterpreted as having religious associations, being spiritually well essentially means feeling as though you have a purpose and that your day-to-day activities have meaning. This links to factors such as your morals, principles, faith and values. To enhance your spiritual wellness, you may look toward how you can help others. If you are fit and completely symptom-free, you could sign up to the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme, to help those in need in your area. Alternatively, use your professional skills to mentor another person or help them with searching for a new job. There are plenty of ways to help others, so pursue a course of action that complies with your values. Furthermore, many people turn to calming activities like meditation and yoga to relax and reflect in a peaceful context, gaining sight of what really matters to them.
Thanks for reading!
We hope this article has given you some ideas of how to look after yourself during the lockdown period. If you are at home struggling to manage pain and swelling, then the PHYSIOLAB team are just a quick phone call away. Likewise, if your surgery has been postponed or you would like to use this time to recover from injury, we can help! During this time, PHYSIOLAB are able to operate no-contact delivery and our toolkits come with everything you need to easily get set up at home.
CONTACT US to find out how we can support you today.